Violence Ridden Poll!

With the poll season setting in, it is gradually becoming evident from poll preparations of different parties that the environment will not only be exciting during the election process, it will also be violence ridden.

Much before notification for filing of nominations, major political parties have placed their orders with established printing presses for posters, hoardings and other propaganda materials.

Even orders have been placed with major printing presses outside Odisha with a view to making the posters and hoardings more attractive.

All this is in addition to the fact that each and every party had made all out efforts to impress the people with their posters in all nook and corner of the State in the form of New Year greetings adequately before the ensuing General Elections were declared.
According to the stipulations set by the Election Commission, a candidate for the State Assembly can spend a maximum amount of Rs. 28 lakh and a candidate for the Lok Sabha can spend Rs. 70 lakh only.
But what actually happens is a different story. The candidates are practically spending much more than the stipulated amount.
So much so that the spent amount finally presented before the electoral authorities by a majority of candidates is almost less than one-tenth of the real amount spent, allege political observers.
The Model Code of Conduct this time, like the previous ones, also envisages provisions for use of a limited number of vehicles for election propaganda and prohibition against use of wine and money to influence voters.

Notwithstanding this, parties have violated such provisions in all elections held here before  and this time it is expected to multiply such violations.
Besides money power, muscle power has always played a dominant role in almost all the elections.

It is apprehended that the 2019 polls will see a higher spurt in the exercise of muscle power despite announcements by the State Police to contain poll-related violence.

This apprehension is based on the observation by political observers and the prevailing mood of confrontation between the party in power and the stubborn approach the major opposition parties have taken to see the ruling party dislodged.
It was clear from the affidavits filed by 147 members of the 15th State Legislative Assembly that one-third members, which is 49 MLAs had criminal background with more than one criminal cases pending against them each.

On the basis of the directive of the Election Commission of India, the candidates are required to advertise thrice  in Electronic and Print Media about their proven as well as pending criminal records, if any, before voting.

In spite of this directive, the number of candidates with criminal tag is expected to be higher this time as each major political parties wishes that their candidates to win by hook or by crook. 

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